Syracuse, Other Cities See Drop in Jobless Rate to 6-Year Low

Jan 28, 2014

Job seekers crowd into a job fair earlier this month where many employers had active openings.
Job seekers crowd into a job fair earlier this month where many employers had active openings.
Credit WAER File

The Syracuse area posts an improvement of a full 2% in the latest unemployment numbers released by New York State.  The December jobless rate released Tuesday by the State Labor Department dropped to 6.5%, the lowest in more than 6 years.  That compares to 8.5% in December of 2012.

Just about every region also saw improvements in the employment statistics.  Those drops in unemployment ranged from 1.3% to 2.1%, indicating the success in finding jobs was widespread and grew throughout the year.  Analysts say some of the drop in the jobless statistics was caused by people dropping out of the labor market, though that did not account for all the gains. 

Improvement in unemployment rates in December 2013 compared with a year ago were widespread.
Improvement in unemployment rates in December 2013 compared with a year ago were widespread.
Credit NYS Dept of Labor

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a release, seized on the opportunity to praise particularly the change in Upstate New York.

"The numbers speak for themselves – the unemployment rate for Upstate New York dropped from 8.4% in December 2012 to 6.4% by the end of 2013. These figures prove Upstate New York’s economy is heading in the right direction and that our focus on revitalizing the region is delivering results."

Cuomo was joined in that assessment by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Coalition Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein.  Cuomo focused several initiatives on Upstate economic growth in his State of the State address and Budget proposal, such as suspending all business taxes for manufacturers who grow and hire. 

"More needs to be done. This year, we will build on that work to deliver another on-time budget that creates jobs in every region, connects New Yorkers with new economic opportunities, and continues to make our communities more prosperous.”

Governor Cuomo is expected in the Geddes area Wednesday to discuss waterfront development along Onondaga Lake, which could include an amphitheater venue.  A $30 million investment is part of Cuomo's Executive Budget Proposal to create jobs.